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Bernie meme, mittens and merch: 2 shares that are selling the trend

The Bernie memes of Bernie Sanders and his cozy mittens have been seen around the world. We look at 2 shares that are selling the trend.
The post Bernie meme, mittens and merch: 2 shares that are selling the trend appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

A hand holding a ball of wool up like a red balloon, indicating a riding share price for creative companies

Regardless of where we sit on the political spectrum, we can all appreciate a good meme. The latest humorous trend comes from a cozy Senator Bernie Sanders donning a pair of homemade mittens at Joe Biden’s inauguration last week. The image of the former United States democratic presidential candidate resonated with people globally, as a ‘vibe’.

Sure enough, the candid image was translated to a meme phenomenon – with Bernie finding himself photoshopped into an endless number of locations, historical events, and just plain odd places – all for a bit of a well-needed laugh.

Where the memes flow, the money goes

It’s no surprise that the Bernie meme and his mittens have become merchandisable. The original mittens worn by Mr Sanders were made and gifted by a Vermont teacher, Jen Ellis, to the Senator. As reported in the New York Daily News, the gifted pair made from repurposed wool sweaters and recycled plastic bottles were one-of-a-kind.

A classic case of supply and demand ensued, and the market has delivered. Now there are plenty of options for various Bernie mitten merchandise available online to get your mitts on. A couple of such companies include Etsy Inc (NASDAQ: ETSY) and ASX-listed Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL).

Bernie meme merch up for grabs here

Redbubble Ltd (ASX: RBL)

Redbubble operates a handful of global online marketplaces, offering products embellished with creative designs by independent artists.

The main site, redbubble.com, ranges face masks, mugs, stationery, clothing, stickers, décor, and many other items. Consumers can search for a design they like and then select a type of medium they’d like it applied to before purchasing.

The Redbubble share price has grown a significant 591% over the last year, with the drastic increase in demand for face masks and inflated online shopping activity. For the first quarter FY21, Redbubble’s revenue grew by 114% year over year to $175.8 million.

Another interesting titbit is the astronomical 562% year over year growth in the ‘accessories’ segment of the business – this segment includes face masks, tote bags, socks etc.

The independent artists that provide the designs to the platform often jump on hot trends, and right now, Bernie Sanders is trending on Redbubble. So you can bet your bottom dollar that both artists and Redbubble are cashing in on those iconic mittens.

Just made this cute design of @SenSanders in his iconic mittens 💕 link to my #redbubble in my bio #BernieSandersMittens pic.twitter.com/Pwh87GM3J2

— Mkm (@H_V_Hart) January 21, 2021

Etsy Inc (NASDAQ: ETSY)

Etsy is another e-commerce company that connects unique designs and creations to customers. Where Etsy differs from Redbubble however, is by solely operating the platform in which products are offered – whereas Redbubble produces the products with the artist’s designs. That means that Etsy has a much more diverse offering of products, and yes… that includes mittens. 

The US-listed company has also benefitted from the uptick in face mask sales, notching up US$264 million in gross merchandise volume for face masks alone in the quarter. However, as demonstrated in Etsy’s Q3 2020 results, the business has managed to outpace the e-commerce benchmark even without the inclusion of face masks by 48%. 

Following the trend, Etsy contributors have also jumped on the Bernie meme bandwagon. Everything from stickers, sweaters, and those warm mittens. Personally, my favourite is the crochet of Bernie and his mittens.

Crochet Bernie, this is not a drill pic.twitter.com/A15ByOM5l0

— Lily Bailey (@LilyBaileyUK) January 22, 2021

Much like the Redbubble share price, Etsy is no slacker either, returning 333% in the last year. 

Foolish takeaway

It’s great to see some light-hearted fun come out of the inauguration and hopefully, the meme-inducing unity continues for Joe Biden’s term as US president. The main takeaway here though is that often where there’s a trend, there’s someone benefitting from it and money to be made. Although one Bernie meme likely won’t make or break a company, it draws focus to the new ways in which the world is monetising humour and creativity. 

But this also serves as a public service announcement for anyone still trying to find those elusive mittens. You’re welcome.

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Mitchell Lawler has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Etsy. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post Bernie meme, mittens and merch: 2 shares that are selling the trend appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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